Heavy ion irradiation of suitable thin films has recently been demonstrated to be a very promising technique for engineeling mesoscopic magnetic systems.
The aims of the research project are:
a) to engineer novel mesoscopic magnetic systems by ion beam irradiation, b) to study their magnetic properties (anisotropy, coercivity mechanisms, magnetoresistance).
The mesoscopic systems will be fablicated by irradiating multilayers of Al/Mn prepared by sputter deposition. Subsequent ion irradiation will induce interdiffusion of A1 and Mn leading to the formation, along the ion paths, ol AlMn fenomagnetic nanocolumns embedded in the non-magnetic metallic matrix constituted by the Al/Mn multilayers. The morphology of the magnetic nanoparticles will be controlled by varying irradiation parameters.The inter-particle distance and hence the magnetostatic interactions can be controlled by varying the ion beam flux. Subsequent magnetic and structural characterization will be performed in order to study the influence of the obtained microstructures on the magnetostatic interactions and then to understand the influence of magnetostatic interactions on anisotropy, magnetization reversal processes and magnetoresistance. The production of microstructure controlled samples is a first step towards the production of new magnetic materials with engineered extrinsic magnetic properties which may ultimately be harnessed in the form of technological devices.